Skip to main content

tv   European Journal  PBS  July 29, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT

1:00 pm
♪ >> hello. good to see you. welcome to "european journal" in brussels. coming up on the program this week -- >> the femint pkocke taking on putin in russia. from france, living next door to mickey mouse. and amsterdam's new breed of squatters. who actually pay the bills? 3 feminist punk rockers who were arrested after a protest against vladimir putin's hold on
1:01 pm
power are causing quite a stir in moscow. the women who are members of a band called pussy riot were charged with look in some after staging an anti-government performance. all sorts of prominent artists and politicians have called for their release, but now the three are facing trial, and it is thought they could be dealt an extremely harsh penalty. >> a closely guarded and in handcuffs, the three members of the cult bent [applause] write up are presented to the world like hardened criminals -- like the punk band pussy riot are presented to the world like hardened criminals. the charge -- hooliganism. the courthouse has been cordoned off for the trial. emotions have been running high. normally, the protest would only amount to a fine, but critics say the kremlin wants to flex
1:02 pm
its muscle. >> the government is trying to score politically with this trial. the message is clear -- they want to show that they can punish anyone, be it the crowds of protesters or pussy riot. they will only leave the in peace if you stay out of the process completely. >> this is what caused the controversy. a video of the band shot in a moscow cathedral that was later uploaded to the internet. "holy mother of god, free us from putin," they sing. but the performance was shorter than the edited version appears. they actually sang for less than a minute, but it was long enough to draw the wrath of the state.
1:03 pm
then members who were not detained have become more cautious. they only agreed to meet us at this disused factory where they sometimes rehearse. afraid of being recognized in public, they were masks to conceal their identity. since their friends were arrested, they have realized how far putin's government is willing to go and how it has shaped russian siety. >> these are or president as he is called today, is the most important man in the land. at home, it is the father. a couple of notches lower, the mother. it is the same chain as always. that is what we want to destroy. as long as putin and his cronies are in power, nothing will change. >> since the three women were arrested, there have been regular protests to demand their release.
1:04 pm
"freedom," chant the demonstrators. many artists and intellectuals support the convent. many christians feel the kremlin has been too harsh. >> i heard that women are released, and i do not support the church is positioned. >> there is not any artistic freedom in russia anymore. they can arrest anyone. they could arrest me for a palm or him or performance -- they could arrest me for a poem or him for a performance. >> church officials continue to defend the government's actions. they are confident the state will determine the correct punishment. >> these women have to understand what they have done. they have to see their transgression from a new perspective and ask for forgiveness. if the promise that this will
1:05 pm
never happen again, then the path to forgiveness and mercy will be open to them. >> the accused have given up hope of leniency or an acquittal. many supporters believe it will not be an independent judge who handed down the verdict, but putin himself. >> we are not afraid anymore. we have to take risks. >> this is unjust, and we have to fight it. >> the musicians have no idea what awaits their band mates. there is talk of seven years of hard labor, but a verdict is not expect befe the end of the year, and until then, a moscow court has ordered that the women remain behind bars. >> mickey mouse might like living in disneyland, but are the people living close to disneyland just as happy? when the walt disney company signed a deal with the french
1:06 pm
government to build disneyland paris in 1987, it was also agreed that disney would have a say in town planning in the surrounding area. what was billed was a model village, which critics say oks a little like a barbie doll town. all beautiful entirety but rather sterile and totally out of keeping with french traditions -- beautiful and tidy the sterile and totally out of keeping with french traditions. >> houses hidden behind high walls. an american suburb transplanted into the french heartland. it is also a company satellite town. disneyland paris is just down the road, and many of its 15,000 employees live here. frank and his wife also worked at disneyland. they live here and like the tranquillity. >> we bought our house because
1:07 pm
we like the area and for strategic reasons. we moved here in 1998. since then, prices have gone up much faster here than in the rest of france, including around paris. we bought our house to make an investment. >> when disney negotiated the contract with the french government to build the amusement park more than 20 years ago, the company stipulated that it would have a say in town planning in the surrounding area. disney took over, and the old village disappeared. anyone who refused to sell was forced to leave. faced with expropriation, the sisters also sold their home. >> it was painful, very sad, like giving up our past and our
1:08 pm
history year. >> they got a good price, and they are happy that the new building on their former property is a public library, but that could not make up for losing their home. meanwhile, the housing prices in the area had exploded. only the wealthy can afford to buy here. today, only a few of the old houses remain. the mayor gives tours of the village. for him, the changes are a sign of progress. >> they work -- there were still cows here when i was a child. the area behind the church was all pasture. 20 years ago, we had 800 residents. today, we have 10 times as many, and we are only half way down with our construction plans. >> the area is now dotted with new housing estates and hotels as far as the eye can see. financially at least, it has been a boon to the cmunity.
1:09 pm
>> our town has many public facilities. that is no coincidence. we can afford it because of all the economic development in our area. >> but that new-found wealth has also come at a price, from the pastel-colored buildings to keeping the downtown park benches cleared of traps. nothing is allowed to puncture the disney image -- neat, orderly, antiseptic with nothing to distract the tourists. >> here at disney, w always ask ourselves -- how will this affect the guest experience? everything our visitors see is part of the guest experience. it starts when they leave the highway. everything beyond the exit is part of our world. we need to have control over that entire world, not just the amusement park.
1:10 pm
>> the result is a picture book town with replicas of quaint village streets and sham risian boulevards, all in a squeaky clean image of disney. this family disliked the sterile artificiality of the disney enclave and chose to live outside the area, but the city continued to expand, and meanwhile, the fantasy land is right outside their living room. >> disney adopted architectural models the seem familiar to people and just loved the houses down in the middle of the beet fields. it is ludicrous. typical parisian architecture right in the mide of theield in the mide of nowhere. it is crazy. >> they have thought about moving away entirely. >> relationships between people here are very difficult. we have known some of the people
1:11 pm
here for years, but we have not become friends with any of them. we never get past the superficial level. >> more and more people are complaining about the expansion of the disney communities. some critics say the ente disney philosophy is at odds with modern french society. >> walt disney was a fervent anti-communists. his idea of what a town should be was very reactionary and backwards. he wanted control over everything. the towns do not even have public parks or park benches. it is all clean, tidy, and utterly star lyle. there is nothing by way of surprises. it makes for a very dull and boring life, and it is a real problem. >> the priest of the local parish hold outdoor masses to bring some life into the
1:12 pm
streets, but he knows he cannot be too loud with his criticism. >> we want to build a new church for local residents and tourists. and a new seminar center. but we cannot do that without approval from disney >> disney has the final say. the mayor says it is a good deal and everyone benefits, but somewhere along the way, the heart and soul of the village has been lost. >> in the midst of the current financial crisis with shops and all sorts of public services closing down across europe, we are starting to see ordinary people fighting back. local cooperatives or citizens' actions groups are banding together to provide f themselves. me communitiesre even planting food crops and sharing the harvest.
1:13 pm
in the 1960's, these grass-roots movements would have been very much the domain of the hippies. these days, as is often the middle classes who are part of this community empowerment. in britain, this sort of sharing revolution is quietly growing. prime minister david cameron want to encourage it, and he has even given it a name -- the big society. there have been hundreds of examples of local groups savg home or village shops from closure. we went to the north of england to see how people there have really embraced the idea of community living. >> that are spearheading a flourishing movement. they have planted vegetables everywhere for everyone. their aim -- to create a community spirit, which brings people of all ages together. >> this looks nice to children. children love corn.
1:14 pm
you say, do you know that is where your breakfast cereal comes from, and they cannot believe that that is breakfast cereal. so we like vegetables with stories. at a community gardens are a success story. they planted plants all over town, and the fellow citizens are happy to harvest. one plot is in front of the police station. in this instance, inspector david browning welcomes those who help themselves, even acting as an accessory himself sometimes. >> if for example, we get a cannabis factory, obvious, al e drugs go for destruction, but if there are other things like good quality fertilizer, then we will give them away to mary and her team. >> mary clare and her team work on a voluntary basis. the seeds are paid for by donations, and the team plans them everywhere, especially where lower income families live. vegetables are expensive in the
1:15 pm
supermarket, but here they are free. >> you use the stem, actually. taste that. that everybody was a bit dubious whher they could take anything. they felt guilty, bending down to take plants and run away, but it is the normal thing now. it is great. >> after all, with the government tightening its belt, the english do not get much else for free. the economic crisis has led people short of many things, but not community spirit. here people share vegetables. nearby, they share a pub. the customers have bought it. when illness forced the previous owners to sell, everyone pitched in to rescue their regular. >> people from all around town come here. they do not want to see it go. it is a great club. we have already had two cubs shut down. we do not want to see another when added to it. >> the regular stable turn the
1:16 pm
pot into a cooperative. many locals bought shares. every downs height gives us alive. >> they will see things than the way they want to see them done. >> in northern england, not far from manchester, community spirit is flourishing. it seems to be the end to the to the crisis. it began with mary clare giving away her vegetables. now the whole town is involved. she had lost her job. now she has all the work she can handle in her project called incredible edible. everyone can do something for the community, she says. her specialty is vegetables, which even feature now on the town's bunting. >> people love to be victims. they love to blame the police and blame the politicians, blame the bankers, but never do anything themselves, so we thought let's try and just do
1:17 pm
something ourselves and see if it will work to make a better world. >> the industrial revolution began in the textile mills of northern england. now, revolutionary ideas are taking hold. when the council ran out of money to fund the town hall, two people came up with a plan to save it from property speculators. they formed a charitable trust and asked the bank for a few million pounds. >> the risk before we took over was, i think, greater, and that was the risk of the building, which was losing its role, which the council really did not know what to do with. could have been sold off, and that would have been a much greater loss to the community. >> that was two years ago. now the trust is expanding the town hall. it has even created three new jobs. amy got one of them and is helping save the heart of the community. she says it will eventually become a wedding venue, and
1:18 pm
companies will be able to higher office space. 75% of the rooms are already rented out. >> the message to the world is think big. if you think they, you can achieve big. it takes a lot of work, and we never underestimate that, but coming together makes you much more powerful, and so look around you. make new friends, and use each of their skills, a a great things can happen. >> working together is more fun, too. mary is in the middle of things at the town festival. everyone loves vegetables with a story. the moral is simple -- working together is how you grow and grow. >> we go to the netherlands now, and it used to be legal there to be a squatter. a person could occupy a building which had been vacant for more than a year and simply live there. for many, squatting became a way of life, but the dutch
1:19 pm
authorities have changed their minds and decided squatting is no longer allowed. property owners who want to play it safe are offering and the properties to anti-quarters, often students, who usually just after the water and energy costs. and i have to be prepared to vacate the premises at very short notice if a paying tenant comes along. as you can imagine, the real squatters of old are not pleased with this new competition. >> amsterdam's canal district is a great place to live, so people seek ways to do it here, legal or not. after all, uldot want a view of the water? houseboats are in reasonably priced option. so is squatting. living in this 17th-century villa on the outskirts of amsterdam is a completely new kind of squatter. he does not look like the scrap the stereotype you normally associate with squatting.
1:20 pm
nor does this building. so what makes the decisive difference? >> we live here at the behest of the owner. squatters in contrast do not ask. they just moved in. >> he is a legal occupier. he has lived here for a year- and-a-half, and every month, he gets a visit from the company that matches owners and illegal occupiers. he checks to make sure everything is in working order, that the power consumption has not skyrocketed, the kitchen is tidy, any fire extinguishers in their places. go tenancy is rewarded with a chance t move to an even nicer apartment. >> we are looking for adventurers who are willing to pack their bags quickly with about one month of notice. that makes it exciting.
1:21 pm
the next object can be an empty church, a school, a bill -- it is sometimes hard to choose. >> the red for the two floors with an estimated 3300 square meters of space is a paltry 186 euros a month. >> you might expect that the waiting list would be miles long. >> a lot of people want to read from us, but we do not have a waiting list. we post an object on the internet, take a very close look at the people who respond, and then we choose. >> the streets of amsterdam are also home to those whose squad without paying.
1:22 pm
at least 200 have already currently slotted all of the city. most are not as explosive as bart's villa, but the 20 squatters of an old primary school enjoy life there. >> it was simple. the school stood empty for three years. we arrived with a bike, trailer, bed, a share, and a tailor. the locksmith opened it up for us. >> have you secured the door? are you afraid of being evicted? >> no, that is not necessary, but we keep an eye open. >> the squatters have converted a former classroom into a living room. in the quest for comfort, squatting has gone mainstream and become bushwa -- bushwa --
1:23 pm
bourgois. >> do you have hot water? >> yes, we installed a hot water tank. >> do you happen to the gas or pay for it? >> we have registered, and we pay our bills. that is your model -- >> is your model first wash the dishe and the revolution? >> so manrevolutionhave failed because no one did the dishes. we want to prevent that. >> this catholic primary school had only six classes left, so it closed. the names of the teachers are still on the doors. why did the parish leave this building and the? >> the parish does not really know what to do with the building. we are in contact with the
1:24 pm
administrator, and things do not look bad for us. we he offered to do a lot of renovation and revive the neighborhood if in return we get a rental contract with a five- year perspective. >> in the netherlands, people love to sit down for pancakes. everyone at the table agrees and the housing is a scandal -- empty housing is a scandal. the courts agree and tend to side with squatters in the case of eviction. >> the worst thing is a waste of space. the inefficient use of living space. >> the owners are just the pawns of the property sharks. they are not helping the housing shortage, but it is pointless discussing it with them. >> the new residents of the primary school in amsterdam west are pegging their hopes on the goodwill of the parish and a mild winter. at the edge of the school yard,
1:25 pm
susanna is already engaging in some long-term planning. a closer look reveals a marijuana plant. >> if yoare looking for some were cheap to live, you know where to go. that is it for "european journal" for another week. i hope you enjoyed the program, and do not forget to send your e-mails. we enjoy hearing from you. if you want to watch any of the pieces from this program again, you can just go to the dw-tv website. for now, from me and all the team here in brussels, had a great week. goodbye. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
1:26 pm
1:27 pm
1:28 pm
1:29 pm

140 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on